ICT For Life Sciences Forum

2013 Graeme Clark Oration

Watch the Oration Video
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Global Health, Economic Growth and the End of Absolute Poverty: hopeful evidence and hard challenges

Mr Geoff Lamb, President, Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The oration will review the extraordinary successes of the past half century in reducing mortality and disease.  It will show how investments in health have been critical for economic growth and the reduction of global poverty – and helped bring the goal of an end to absolute global poverty within generational sight.

But in retrospect the huge basic health advances of recent decades may have been the easy part.  For example, big investments in routine vaccination and cleaner water may already have delivered up most of their dividends, and meantime we may face a “long contraction” in public finances that will make it much harder to fund future investments.

What needs to be done to ensure the next transformation in global health, and make the end of absolute poverty attainable?

About our speaker

Geoffrey Lamb is the Gates Foundation’s President, Global Policy and Advocacy. He leads the foundation’s international policy and advocacy team, and its engagement with governments and international institutions. Lamb was previously Managing Director, Public Policy and a Senior Fellow in the foundation’s Global Development Program.

Before joining the foundation in 2006, Lamb held several senior positions at the World Bank, most recently as vice president of Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships. In that capacity, he chaired a series of international negotiations through which governments provided the largest increase in more than two decades of World Bank funding for the world’s poorest countries, and subsequently agreed on the financial framework to forgive the multilateral debt of 40 countries.

An Irish citizen, Lamb was born in South Africa and educated in South Africa and the United Kingdom, where he was a fellow and deputy director of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. He was a member of the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from its founding until 2006, and has been a board member of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative since 2000, and its chairman 2003-2008. He has served as chairman of the international negotiations for the replenishment of the African Development Bank’s concessional arm, the African Development Fund, in 2009/10.